Ray Demski's icy night shoot
Red Bull Illume recently caught up with Ray Demski, finalist from the 2010 Image Quest, to discuss his latest night ice shoot...
What was the idea behind the shoot?
I wanted to bring a different look to ice climbing, lighting an entire ice fall with high quality light to bring out the magic of the ice to create some stunning images! The whole idea started to form last Autumn while shooting bouldering in the Himalaya with Bernd Zangerl and Alex Luger. We did a night highball shot with flashes that got me thinking... that would be amazing to do with Ice!
Were you hanging from a rope to get the shots?
All of the images from above were shot while hanging from a rope anchored from the cliff above the icefall. The other shots were done from the bridge.
How was that?
We had very solid anchors and a backup, so pretty much daily business.
Are you a climber?
Yes, more than anything else I love to get outside and go climbing!
How cold was it?
Probably bottomed out around -18°c, cold enough to keep you awake!
What equipment did you use?
Along with all the climbing and rope access gear, I used the Phase One iq180, 80 mp back on the 645DF camera with Schneider Kreuznach and Phase One lenses all packed into an F-stop Kenti for easy access. Lighting was entirely Broncolor, with three of the new Move 1200L battery units. We used two with the new Para 88 reflectors and one alternately with a standard reflector or bare bulb. We also had a few of the Broncolor Kobold units for working light and the video crew.
How was it shooting with the Move?
This was my first time working with the Move, with a full 1200 w/s in such a small and light package it´s a dream for location work. First time I picked it up it felt so light I had to check if the battery was really in! The new heads are also very small and light, making it all very portable without technical compromise.
Towards the end of the shoot, we used just one unit for the action portraits with 2 Para 88 reflectors, trying out the full asymmetrical capability of the unit, just amazing flexibility! The blazingly fast flash durations completely froze the water and snow as it flew through the air, like no other battery flash I´ve ever used.
Were you happy with the shots?
Very much so!
What's next for you?
After this shoot I had 3 weeks straight of shooting in the mountains for commercial clients. I have some exciting plans for expeditions this year and am also looking forward to doing further episodes of the Ice nights project!
Have you entered Red Bull Illume?
I´m putting together my selection to enter Red Bull Illume at this moment!
See the full results of Ray's cool shoot over on his website.
The featured behind the scenes video was produced by LM-Media.
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Is it tough to choose between film and camera?
I have shot video for much longer. I love both and cannot make a choice between the two mediums. They are both unique, showing different things. Photo freezes the instant, and on some occasions, it's completely out of context, depending on what you want to show. In a skateboard picture you see the guy, the spot, the trick, but you miss the speed, the run up, the landing. Yet you can get a notion of the speed and style, but you can only imagine it. Video shows you all that stuff, but on the other hand, the clips are usually short, and you don't have so much time to enjoy the scene.
Tell us a bit about Hybridation...
Both mediums are perfect for different occasions, and sometimes not at all. That's why I do both, and try to mix them together when I can. Hybridation emerged from those frustrations. The idea was to make a video, sort of shot like photographs, resulting in a kind of photographs with motion. Not all the shots are static, but I limited myself very much when it came to camera motion.
This was also a way to do the exact opposite in what you see these days in videos. With HD cameras came all sorts of affordable equipment allowing people to take dolly, crane, and even drone shots, with so much motion...but they all do it the same and most videos look very similar. So this was a way to come up with something different. I'm really happy with Hybridation, yet I don't have photographs of any of the skate tricks, so that makes me sad at the same time!
What are you currently working on?
Thanks to Red Bull Illume, Leica lent me their amazing digital M Monochrom camera, and I've been shooting a lot with it, but not just skateboarding pictures... We will present a selection of the images on Leica's site/blog in a near future!
Coming out in December is a special skateboarding film shot on 16mm, Cuatro Suenos Pequenos, directed by Thomas Campbell. It has been an epic project to work on, and the result is totally unique. I also did a short video for Nokia this year, shot with their Lumia phone, and we might make some more.
I have a cool project that is already finished, but it will only come out in 2014. It's called "Skateboarding Sucks". It's a funny video parody of it. Excited to share it!
Right now I'm preparing a video shoot involving skateboarding in a museum in Paris!
Making of: Morphing Sequence
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Equipment and settings:
Camera: Nikon D800 shooting tethered into Capture One
Lens: 14-24mm f/2.8, 24-70mm f/2.8, and 50mm f/1.8
Lights: 3 broncolor Scoro 3200 S set on optimal flash speed, softboxes (for ambient and fill-in), a beauty dish for the key light and a pair of magnum reflectors, 1 kobold 800W HMI (creating the trail)
Athletes: Petr Kraus
Credits: Photographer: Maxime Riché / Red Bull Content Pool